Course info
Apr 21, 2014
2h 30m

This course, targeted at intermediate SCCM administrators, will not just show you how to create ConfigMgr applications, it will also thoroughly explain the many different aspects of creating a reliable application. This course will go over all the information needed ahead of time, how to properly test the installers to ensure perfect deployments, and finally automate a lot of the application creation with Powershell.

About the author
About the author

Adam Bertram is an independent consultant, technical writer, trainer, and presenter. Adam specializes in consulting and evangelizing all things IT automation, mainly focused around Windows PowerShell.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Introduction
Hi. This is Adam Bertram and this is the introduction to my course on creating System Center Configuration Manager 2012 applications with PowerShell. In this course you will learn all the steps necessary to plan and build a successful application with Configuration Manager 2012. By following what I'm about to teach you I guarantee that you will see much more reliable deployments through proper planning and standardization by creating applications by script rather than using the Configuration Manager console. This course is primarily aimed at IT professionals with at least one year of experience with Configuration Manager and may have already created a few applications via the console already. You will get the most benefit from this course if you're in a larger enterprise with a few dozen to a few hundred different applications to be created. However, even if you're in a small to medium sized business with only a few applications, this course will outline everything you'll need to succeed at deploying them.

The Application Model
Hi. This is Adam Bertram and in this module we're going to go over The Application Model. The application model is a new concept in Config Manager 2012. Never before has a Configuration Manager admin had so much control over software deployments. The application takes what would once packages in Config Manager '07 to a whole new level. You'll find that once you begin to get used to deploying applications instead of packages the extra upfront work that's required will be well worth the effort. Because I'm betting a lot of you guys are still using _____ packages to some extent, I'm first going to dive right in to the application versus package discussion. I'm going to explain how applications and packages are similar in function, but are a far cry from implementation. Once you just get how much powerful applications are than packages I'm positive that you'll leave packages behind. Then, just take a step back, we'll then be discussing what components make up the application model in general. You may have wondered why I refer to applications as an application model rather than just an application. The reason is because, along with implementing actual applications, Microsoft also added more entities around the application and is even pushing towards a completely new kind of deployment. Rather than deploying software to systems, they are now pushing to deploy software to users. We'll also discuss other concepts, such as the new concept to offer software to users, known as the Application Catalog, and a powerful testing technique known as Simulated Deployments. Once we go over each piece that makes up the application model, we'll then start to concentrate more on the application itself. Config Manager 2012 applications have a lot more moving parts than traditional packages had. We'll go over the application hierarchy through dependencies and supersedence, setting software and hardware system requirements, keeping a change history through revisions, and spending a lot of time on deployment types.

Planning the Application
Hi. This is Adam Bertram and in this module we're going to discuss the planning process to creating a standardized and reliable Config Manager application. This module is going to be all about pre-application planning. Due to the many decisions an admin must make when creating a reliable application, it's important to gather up all the information required into one place, prior to getting your hands dirty. As a real world example, we'll be planning to deploy Microsoft's Office 2010 Software Suite. I'm also going to introduce you to the application checklist spreadsheet. This checklist is included with the module. We'll be using this spreadsheet here on out in this course to plan and document all the information we need prior to building the Config Manager application. I'm first going to cover what information are you going to need to gather? This includes things like obtaining the installer files, vendor documentation, and some system to test your application on. This is going to kick off the conversation you're going to need to have with the application owner. Next, we'll then jump into the where question. Where is the application going to be deployed? Is it going to be deployed to 2, 200 or 20, 000 systems? If you are in a Global corporation, is it being deployed to your Chinese and Australian offices or just to some PCs in your local US headquarters? These are the kinds of questions that'll need to be asked. Finally, I'll discuss the when question. When can the application be deployed to your systems? There are a few different ways you can get software onto systems with Config Manager. I'll briefly discuss having a conversation with the application owner to find out questions like, when will a window be available to deploy the application, the deadline of when it's needed, etc.

Creating the Installer
Hi. This is Adam Bertram and in this module we're going to discuss Creating the Installer that our ConfigMgr application will deliver to our target systems. I have created dozens of installers in my four years as a ConfigMgr admin. Through my experience, I have found that there are as many ways to get this job done, as there are stars in the sky. This is one area that doesn't really have a straight how-to path, however, there are some common scenarios that I'll be explaining to you. An installer. An installer can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different tech guys. In what context are we in here? I'll be referring to an installer as whatever needs to be done to eventually get the ConfigMgr application to get the software installed on a system. This is the actual MSI or exe files or, if necessary, a PowerShell script that actually executes on the system. This module is more about scripting and command line than it is actual ConfigMgr stuff. Technically, you could take what you learn from this module and have skills at automating a software install without ConfigMgr at all. Unlucky admins without ConfigMgr have to use the tactics I'm about to show you in this module to deploy software through GPOs or just by using PowerShell scripts alone.

Configuration Manager, Meet PowerShell
We've come to the place where we start to shed the comfy GUI. If you're familiar with the movie, The Matrix, now is the time you take the red pill or the blue pill. You can either continue to live in a GUI world, full of mass clicks and windows or you can become serious about ConfigMgr and dive into the next phase of your ConfigMgr career. I'm going to attempt to slowly wean you off of the GUI and onto PowerShell. The first video of this module is going to give you breakdown of some common functions I use with PowerShell and ConfigMgr. I'll perform an action in the GUI and then get the exact same thing done using PowerShell. This will give you something to reference if you've never used PowerShell with the ConfigMgr before. In the following video of this short module I'll show you how to get started using the ConfigMgr module, not to be confused with the course module in PowerShell. I'll go over how to get it working, what's possible with ConfigMgr cmdlets, and give you some general pointers on using Microsoft cmdlets, and when you'll have to create your own. This module will be demo heavy. We're going to be getting into some code in this module. If you just watched one of the previous videos on creating installers with PowerShell, those same assumptions apply here. If you're extremely new to PowerShell, I recommend getting to at least a seasoned beginner level before approaching this in the following module. I don't intend to teach PowerShell as I am creating with the ConfigMgr application. If you're good, I'm good. Let's get going.

Creating the Application with Powershell
Hi. This is Adam Bertram and in this module we're going to discuss finally getting our application created. By the end of this module, and course, you'll be fully schooled on how to create reliable, standardized ConfigMgr applications that have endured your rigorous testing methodology. In this final module, I'm going to show you a single PowerShell script that will create a lot of the application, but unfortunately, you are forced to use some of the admin console. I'll be going over each piece of this script in the module and when we're done you'll have a fully functioning script that'll allow you to plug in how you want to create the application, run it, and have an application created for you.